The MVC: Your MVP App’s Best Friend

The MVC: Your MVP App’s Best Friend

Simon Jenner

Friday, 4 September 2020

An intro to the concept of the Minimum Viable Campaign (MVC)

Posted in:

Startups

You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” – Steve Jobs



Gone are the days when launch marketing involved making as big a noise as financially possible.  It would cover every viable channel, launching your startup with such a massive bang that of course, someone is bound to listen. So, in come the sales. 



In such circumstances, of course, the goal of attention would be achieved, but nobody would know quite where it came from; which bit worked.  So they’d have to waste another eye-watering marketing budget on doing everything all over again. 



The world of digital marketing moves at high speed, with ever-changing social media algorithms to be aware of in both paid and organic efforts.   It therefore makes sense to be as lean and agile in your marketing as possible. 



We all know about the Minimum Viable Product (if you don’t, read this). Enter its best friend: the Minimum Viable Campaign. 



What is a Minimum Viable Campaign (MVC)?



A MVC is the smallest amount of well-designed marketing that will achieve a startup’s goals and gain statistically significant insights. 



It is the marketing equivalent of the MVP; with near-identical benefits: 



  • Quick development and execution

  • Minimal resources needed

  • More cost-effective implementation

  • Opportunity to gain make or break insights 

  • Ability to iterate and revise 



How does an MVC Work? 



The average MVC is a 16 week campaign.



Weeks 1 through to 4 are spent setting your MVC campaign up.  This involves a combination of: 



  • Analysing your target market - demographics and psychographics 

  • Creation of buyer personas 

  • Creating a database of perfect prospects 

  • Initial or refreshing branding if required 

  • Devising audience touchpoints 



The remaining 12 weeks are then spent executing the campaign. At the end of the 16 weeks, results are analysed, strategy is optimised accordingly and the process begins again, until a solid, fruitful campaign is established.  



An alternative method is to run several ‘mini’ campaigns at once - whether that is for hours, days or weeks, to establish what works best, quickly.  



The challenges of the MVC



Though it sounds like the ideal way to achieve your marketing goals, using a MVC is not without its challenges. 



1. Getting funding

Many funders simply aren’t used to this way of working, and using MVC to promote your MVP app does not provide them with enough detail to give them the confidence they need.   You may be fortunate and find forward-thinking, innovate funders that are aware of, and are willing to fund MVCs, and hopefully this will become more commonplace in the future. 



2. Organic results

Organic marketing is a marathon, not a sprint, so yielding substantial results in short periods of time is very unlikely to happen. Awareness needs to build before many will engage.  However, if you take this into consideration when coming up with your metrics, you can still succeed. You can also try organic guerilla marketing to capture attention fast. 



3. Lack of focus 

Some startups worry that the trial and error style method of MVCs can appear messy and incongruent to a budding new audience.  There’s no doubt this can happen, so it’s best to run MVCs alongside a more solid, perhaps organic marketing campaign with consistent posts to help solidly build brand awareness as you go. 



If you would like to know more about building your MVP app or your MVC, email hello@millionlabs.co.uk



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